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Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Exotic legal issues, bans, laws, regulations, Animal Rights discussions etc.

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The Herper
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Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby The Herper » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:33 pm

We always hear of restrictive pet bans creeping up on us, but no one in the exotic pet community seems to think about trying to pass bills legalizing certain animals.

I've thought about doing something big, like trying to unite organizations such as USARK, UAPPEAL, and REXANO, so that we can all work together, and by using our combined force, peel back laws one by one. For instance, with the community in Oregon under siege by numerous bans, it could be conceivable to, say, indroduce a bill legalizing small stuff, like fennecs, genets, and servals (probs with a liscence), and have it pass as long as everyone here focuses their energy towards supporting that bill. This could apply to any state.

I think, that with the support of the exotics community, making a "federation" of exotic pet owners, and introducing these bills, could actually work.

What do you all think?
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:35 pm

Yes. I've been toying with the idea as well. Once I have my fennec could even bring it to meet willing reps to see they are tiny and sweet. Heck iguanas and ferrets maybe more dangerous than fennecs. Got a lot of social anxiety though but toying with the idea.

I got the how to saved https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citiz ... s-Law.aspx

Hardest part would be finding a rep willing to introduce it for you then the rest is getting lots of support for it to the est will actually consider it.

Fennecs were exempted from a ban in NY by someone taking their fennec to see the reps and the ban bill got amended to allow them. I know of one case where someone got their city to change it's laws for fennecs similarly but was a case of making them legal not just changing a pending bill which is much rarer but may be a good way to fight in some states.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby Ash » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:04 pm

I've thought about it, but it's hard to know where to start. But there are some good points here.

My animals wouldn't make good candidates as representatives. But future animals of mine might be. It could definitely be a great place to start.

First you'd have to probably befriend some representatives. Sadly, it's favors that usually get something off the ground.

I think it would be best to make a list of pets that are not so "extreme" and push for those first. Examples would be... fennec, ferret, sugar glider, hedgehogs, rodents (capybaras, squirrels, etc), marmot, prairie dogs, wallaby, opossums, exotic deer (muntjacs)... Things that don't really seem all too crazy as pets. Nothing that would really be perceived as "dangerous."

A serval could be a scary jump for some people, but it is the most realistic exotic cat to introduce as a first.

Striped skunks and raccoons are actually more common as pets than most people think, so would be a good to go with initially too.

One thing to look into (for states that currently have complete bans on certain animals) would be proposing a permit fee. The thought of more money coming in is a good incentive for them to pass laws that don't really effect them otherwise.

I know USARK supports the exotic mammal community, but doesn't say it outright. But they always bring attention to it usually at the bottom of their emails. Their focus is reptiles, and their donors are reptile owners. So it's not really fair to request them to suddenly switch their agenda on people and send donations to fight against mammal bans. I don't know if it's entirely honest if they split themselves up that way. It would upset people who specifically sent their money to them to fight for the constrictor ban, for example.

It would be cool to have an organization that fights exclusively for exotics. I've thought about it a lot before, actually. Well, we all probably have given it thought at one point or another. Something to keep thinking on though for sure.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:43 pm

I think The Herper was meant to include herps since the recent ban on endangered species in our state includes some of them. Our current board has got to big for their britches and mad with their power to make laws without needing to pass bills so is banning whatever they can get away with it would seem but any laws that do pass with the bill system they have to abide by like the exotic law and the old invasive species allowed and not list, they did circumvent the part of that that allows petitioning by refusing to vote on mine though but they can't go banning something that's on the allowed list, except I guess some on the allowed list will now be illegal as the new law banning endangered species goes into effect and newest takes precedent. They also banned raccoons except for AZA!

Anyway if we got a new bill passed that allowed say fennecs they would have to abide by the newest law. Like the invasive list law is older than the exotic law(basically the dangerous exotic law for our state) It allowed for permits of exotic canines so people used to have fennecs even though they are not classified by the invasive list so would have been prohibited before but then a bill passed rewording it to a ban aside from some exceptions like USDA so poor fennecs are lumped with the big scarier exotics, which makes them a good candidate for a bill to specifically allow them.

Gather some facts from the states that allow them showing no harm, let them see in person where possible they are fine, and NY as a precedent of listing them a allowed/domestic and if possible get some positive press behind us there might be a case. I and USDA so can get one but I do hate the idea that if I ever lost my USDA for some reason that I'd lose my fennec.

One thing to look into (for states that currently have complete bans on certain animals) would be proposing a permit fee. The thought of more money coming in is a good incentive for them to pass laws that don't really effect them otherwise.


As a different thing it might be nice to get records and see how much revenue was lost when they decided to stop giving permits for pets for the exotics (primates, bears, canidae and felidae, crocadillia). But with recreational sales of marijuana becoming legal so taxed they may not be as worried about the small amount from animal permits. Still would be interesting to see that info. I would be fine with it going back to a permit system instead of a ban but that would be harder to swing than just allowing certain small/benign exotics.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby The Herper » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:30 pm

Good ideas. If any one of actually gets brave enough to try this, we should circulate the news throughout the exotic pet community, to drum up enough support for the cause.

On the subject of oregon, there are so many species banned, that it would be extremely hard to make the laws remotely reasonable. Do you think that we would have any hope in trying to legalize animals from the invasive list?

The reason that I'm focussing on Oregon so much is because I may be moving there in the next few years (either there or Washington state).
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:30 am

Oh so you're not here yet. It might have been a bit less scary with someone backing me up. I've toyed with the idea of moving to WA but it's so expensive, unless I was just looking in the wrong places. Foxes would still need USDA but everything else I'm interested in wouldn't be a problem any more.

I think it would be hard to do away with the invasive list. On paper the idea is fair. They evaluate each species based on invasion risk and if it's not listed a resident can petition to change it. In practice, due to a corrupt board, it's not. But it would be pretty much impossible to convince those who need convincing to pass a bill undoing it or replacing it since it is something that seems needed, preventing invasive species, and fair as written.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby The Herper » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:39 pm

It would be hard to get rid of the invasive list. I can see where they are coming from-I'm all for protecting the ecosystem- but some of the animals listed could NEVER set up a breeding population in oregon. And they have so many common species listed as invasive too, such as genets, and african porcupines. Surely, if we could provide data from neibouring states showing the extremely small invasion risk posed by commoner pets, we could have some delisted?
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:02 pm

I don't know how that would work. There is no provision in the law for reversing the listing decision once it is made. Maybe you could have a bill to update the invasive rules to allow for changing of a current listing but then they could change allowed things to banned and the board, as pointed out, is anti-exotic keeping so much more likely to do that than allow anything. I had a very detailed petition proving Bettongs are not an invasion risk to try and get them listed as uncrontoled since they are not listed currently. They could not come up with a reason to deny me so refused to vote on my petition instead. And so my calling them corrupt. They have AR anti-exotic beliefs and will abuse their power to suit their beliefs. I'm afraid my petitioning them to allow bettongs, an endangered species(but would have been possible for me to get since there's an instate breeder) may have helped spur them to their working to ban endangered species.

I guess a bill specifically to allow something like genets might still work though as it would go around them and not give them any more power. The newer laws seems to override old laws. Like the exotic law allows exotic canines with a USDA so even though fennecs are not listed, so prohibited by default under the invasive law, they are allowed with USDA because the exotic law is newer. seems a bit tricky/sticky though. Not sure what would really happen if one side or the other deiced to push about the fact there are contradicting laws and the fact they are on the invasive list might be enough for most to deny the bill.

Actually that's why I've had to think about how you'd get fennecs allowed. You can't exempt them from the exotic law or then they'd be subject to the invasive law. The best way to draft the bill would be an amendment to the exotic law to exempt them from the need for a permit like hybrid cats already are. Then they would still fall under the newer law but not need a permit. A whole new law just to allow them might also be possible but more messy.

A whole new law to allow certain currently banned common and "safe" exotics may be the way to go for anything not subject to the exotic law and especially if you want to have a list of several things made allowed. You would have to work on the wording but as part of getting some representative on your side you could look at my petition for bettongs to see how a detailed paper on invasion risk and other factors they were concerned over might look. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1spO1 ... sp=sharing
I thought at the time that emphasizing their being rare, meaning not just any joe shmo could get one, might help to sway a board I already knew leaned anti-exotic but guess not. In the case of a list of species you might need similar details on their risks but their being common might be more in your favor instead.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TexasYankee » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:25 am

Massachusetts legalized sugar gliders thanks to people lobbying their representatives. My state representative in rural MA was openly pro-hunting and very responsive to his constituents, and my mother had connections to the state senator. I might have been able to persuade one or both of them to legalize a few other relatively common exotics. But the only reason I got interested in advocating for the legalization of exotics was because I ended up moving to Texas, where most exotics were already legal. In Massachusetts I'd resigned myself to never owning anything more exotic than a parrot.

I met with three candidates for state representative in Texas during the primaries last spring, and all of them looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested legalizing raccoons and other native animals. (I don't think any of them were actually running for representative in my district though.) I haven't met with my own state representative and senator, but given that I live in a very poor district in Austin proper, I imagine legalizing pets most people in the district can't afford to keep and would be barred from keeping anyways by Travis County ordinances is not a priority for them. Hopefully in a few years I'll be able to move to the exurbs (right now I live near the city center), and will have a rep who would be responsive to such things.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:26 am

That's too bad none were interested. It is kind of a small special interest. Maybe finding a way to tie it into broader things they support might help, like property rights or freedom to choose for yourself. That's the main way a successful petition would help. If you show up with thousands of signatures they would know this is important to more than just a handful of people but it can be hard to get a lot of signatures on exotic petitions.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TexasYankee » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:33 am

I figure that any legislature endorsed by hunting groups is likely to be open to legalizing exotics. That's another advantage of living in a rural area. Rural legislators (of both major parties) tend to be pro-hunting.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby Ash » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:12 am

Good on your for meeting with them. Most would never have the courage or motivation to go talk to them.

A petition would definitely help your case. And mentioning property rights would be great.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TexasYankee » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:39 am

Honestly, I only met with them because it was at an event with free barbecue. I never pass up free barbecue. And I figured while I was there I might as well confront them with an issue I care about that they might not have known about.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby Nìmwey » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:38 am

I have long thought of starting an organization protecting pet owners of ALL species. International.
It would need to become huge.

The thing is, there are millions of exotics owners in the US alone, but they are all so madly divided! No unity or holding hands against the common enemy at all, just "doing my thing" and "at least it's not my species being banned", or even "they should ban tigers, but no my serval!" or "they should ban venom and large constrictors, but not my ball python!"

We would just need a huge initiative, lots of advertising to get people interested, and eventually money and lobbying power.

USARK is great, but mainly focuses on reptiles. This would be to protect pets and pet owners of ALL kinds (common domestics as well) to stand against the AR movement, while not defending the unethical.

I just don't know how.
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
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Re: Passing Pro-Exotic laws

Postby TexasYankee » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:02 pm

REXXANO covers all animals but has a really unprofessional website written in a tone that sounds almost conspiracy-theoretical.

SAOVA seems to me like the best all-purpose group currently. I don't know if there's actually hunters in the group (since hunters are much more numerous than us and have their own groups), or it's just a pro-exotic group that lobbies against hunting bans as well, but they make an effort to vet legislators for their stance on both hunting and exotics, and they have a lobbyist in DC. But it is a strictly US-based group, which doesn't help you in Sweden.

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